Tell us your Fukuoka and Nagasaki restaurant recommendations!
August 14, 2019 1:22 PM   Subscribe

My partner and I are visiting Fukuoka and Nagasaki for a couple of nights each in September, and we'd love to hear your restaurant recommendations. We're adventurous eaters but we don't speak any Japanese at all.

We can go pretty high budget although we're keen to hear about cheaper places as well!
posted by adrianhon to Travel & Transportation around Japan (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
For Fukuoka:

Full Full is a really good bakery. They're particularly well known for their mentaiko bread, which is a Fukuoka specialty, but I really like their desserts as well. I've only been to their Tenjin location, which is takeout only but is near a little park where you can sit and eat, but I think their location in Higashi-ku has dine in as well.

Hachibei is good for upscale yakitori, and has several locations around the city.

If you like Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen, it'd be hard to go to Fukuoka without visiting the main stores of Ichiran and/or Ippudo. Of course they've both expanded all around Japan and the world, but Fukuoka's where it all started. Ichiran's particularly easy for non-Japanese speakers, because the ordering is all in writing on a bilingual form. For either, best to go during off hours or the wait to be seated can be quite long. It's worth trying some smaller local ramen places too - maybe from one of the yatai food stands in Nakasu, although good ramen is everywhere in Fukuoka.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 2:15 PM on August 14, 2019

Response by poster: Those are great suggestions, thanks!
posted by adrianhon at 3:41 PM on August 14, 2019

Zokkon (092-292-0957) in the basement of Kitte Hakata (next to Hakata station) is a great izakaya with top-notch sake and good food.

On the opposite side of Hakata station there's a restaurant complex called Deitos in the northeast corner of the station (ground floor) that has a bunch of cheap and fun drinking spots, some of them standing only. They're worth checking out for the lively atmosphere and cheap prices, and generally the food is pretty good, although not a top gourmet destination. There's also a ramen-restaurant complex upstairs from there.

I also like Hachibei, and Ichiran is worth a visit if you like ramen. I can't really recommend the yatai food stalls - they're mostly frequented by tourists, and the food is so-so, but you might enjoy the lively atmosphere.
posted by Umami Dearest at 11:00 PM on August 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

I have not been to Nagasaki for many many years, so I can't recommend restaurants from personal experience, but if you'll be in Nagasaki you should try their local specialties, chanpon (a fishy stew with octopus tentacles, via China) and castella (pound cake, via Portugal). They're part of Nagasaki's Important Cultural Heritage as a global port and trading center and a place with a lot of influence from China, Korea, and Portugal.

For chanpon, Shikairo or Kozanro seem like good choices; for castella, Fukusaya (founded in 1624!!).
posted by Jeanne at 11:07 PM on August 14, 2019

In Fukuoka - Isoragi in Hakata Station for kaisen-don & ochazuke. And if you're looking for a no-stress introduction to yatai, Mami Chan (near Fukuoka Honten Bank) is English-friendly and run by a fantastic woman.

The best takoyaki I've had in Japan is at Akatan, a small standing bar - no English (even on the sign, so look for the lantern) but just go in and ask for a couple glasses of yuzushu and the half-salt/half-sauce takoyaki.

In Nagasaki, Menya Always has great ramen with an English menu.
posted by Gortuk at 1:45 PM on August 15, 2019

Fukuoka: Ichiran and/or Ippudo are pretty mainstream ramen. If you want to taste something more funky, try Kurume Taiho Ramen. They have various shops, off the top of my head there is one inside Kitte shopping centre at Hakata station, one near Tenjin station. It was my favourite ramen in the world until they messed with the formula a bit and made it a tad less funky. It's still excellent though.
posted by prolific at 2:28 AM on August 16, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks so much for all your detailed recommendations!
posted by adrianhon at 3:17 AM on August 18, 2019

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